Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Poison Ivy and what to do when affected by it

Poison Ivy is a plant that is to be seen through the majority of of North America and is available in two main varieties â€" Western, or Pacific, and Atlantic. The concern with Poison Ivy, which grows as ground cover and can eventually be seen as large bushes, is that it contains an oil â€" Urushiol â€" that, when it comes into contact with our skin, causes very unpleasant blistering and irritation.It is imperative to understand that the oil occurs not just in the leaves but in all of the plant, including the root and the stem, and it is the immune system pushing against the poison, as it seeps into the skin, that is the instigator of the pain we experience.Why Poison Ivy is poisonousIt may seem odd to us that at plant should be poisonous, but like the best living things Poison Ivy has its part in the ecosystem. The way it grows is interesting as it is used as shelter for lower growing plants and ground dwelling animals, and the majority of these are, unlike humans, not affected by the oil.Furthermore, Poison Ivy gives rise to berries that are an important foodstuff for a great number of bird species.How to see the symptoms and more about Urushiol oil.The patient will very quickly suffer from irritation in the skin, mixed with severe itching and inflammation in the infected area. The skin will become discoloured and a burning sense will occur, and in a short span blisters will form along with the rash.Suffering can be endure for many weeks or may be gone within days, and an individual case is different. It is suggested that cooling the skin is a good antidote and also prevents further infection.There are various important facts that people need to understand about Urushiol oil, and the first is that it is very potent indeed. Research has indicated that a small amount of the oil the size of a pin-head could infect 500 people, and as it is not a water based substance it will not evaporate.The latter mentioned presents a major concern as it means the oil can stick to on items it has been in contact with for as long as, and maybe longer than, a year. This gives us the possibility of re-infection, or of anyone who has not been in contact with the plant being affliected. Clothes, shoes, tools and pets can all contain the oil, and the tiny amounts believed to cause suffering give it greater potency.Gloves and coats, as well as boots, are among the commonest causes of Poison Ivy infection and should be cleaned thoroughly if contamination is suspected.How anyone can become infectedThere are numerous ways that an individual can come into contact with the oil from Poison Ivy, and transfer from already infected clothing and other items is one method as we have already noted.The reason that we suffer when having encountered the oil is because of the instant reaction it promotes, and it is notable that direct contact with the plant is not essential to induce a reaction.If Poison Ivy is burned the smoke is full with vaporised oil, and even coming into contact with this mixture can promote an attack. It has been said that a 100 year old oil once affected a sufferer, an indication of how much troube the plant can be.Anything that features the sap of the plant must be avoided, therefore, and animals kept away from Poison Ivy bushes.How to deal with a sufferer of a Poison Ivy reactionIt is important that treatment is initiated immediately, and the best method is to wash the problematic area in warm water. A second recommendation is to use a very potent antimicrobial soap and to do all one can to stop the patient from scratching, as this will spread the problem more.It is imperative to score the blisters, too, and to bring the area of infection exposure to the air. Keeping blisters attended to is necessary in order not to invite infection.Remember that it is simply the oil that will allow the infection to spread, so contact with it should be refrained from.The condition will, in a while, clear up by itself, but there are treatments available for the irritation and for the worst reactions. It is the decision of the individual whether to wait for it to subside or to invest in further help. Some of us are fortunate in that they have no sensitivity to Poison Ivy, but these are rare and most of us would be infected by coming into contact with the bush.If one sees Poison Ivy the best advice a man can give is the most natural â€" avoid it very carefully and don’t let your pet near it.--Nadeeka Johnson is an experienced article writer with over a 1,000 articles covering a wid variety of topical written at www.allstop.com/poison-ivy/poison-ivy-treatmentSource: http://www.articletrader.com
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